Firing

There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.

Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!

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Here’s a valuable tip when discharging an employee: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It can lead to years of needless ­litigation and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees even if you win in the end.

Make sure before you fire someone that she’s been paid everything she is owed. And if the employee has complained about pay irregularities, be sure to investigate right away.

The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act outlaws discharging em­­ployees for filing workers’ compensation claims. It’s a protected activity. Equally illegal: Jumping the gun by firing employees before they ­actually fill out the workers’ compensation paperwork.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it fired Steve Barto from his job as an environmental group manager because he intimidated employees, used racial slurs and behaved erratically. When Barto sued the DEP for allegedly violating his civil rights, he painted a different picture.

You probably know you must document all disciplinary actions. Take that a step further by categorizing the discipline.
Employers that keep detailed disciplinary records showing exactly why an employee was disciplined are much more likely to win lawsuits. That makes it harder for an employee to argue he was singled out for unfair, discriminatory punishment.
Employers have an obligation to make sure employees know what kind of performance is expected of them. Under no circumstances should you wait until you’re ready to discharge the employee to put criticism in writing. That creates the suspicion that you came up with reasons as a cover for illegal discrimination.
File this one under “Ironic.” A Hamilton-based health care company whose motto is “The people with a heart” has had to settle an EEOC lawsuit that charged it with illegally firing a disabled employee.

You may assume that an employee who obviously isn’t meeting expectations will simply go away when you fire him. Don’t bet on it. He’ll probably apply for unemployment. Be prepared to show exactly why you terminated him.

Employers have the right to expect their employees to be honest. When an employee is fired for lying about being sick and missing work, the employer won’t be liable for unemployment compensation payments.
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